These are busy times for Erik Janssens. With the season in full swing, the Belgian eggplant grower is always busy with his beloved plant. "I have been growing tomatoes since 1985, until I switched to eggplants eight years ago. Since then my greenhouse has grown from 1ha to 2ha, one tenth of the total acreage in Belgium."

Experience required

But success didn’t come overnight. "It was mainly a matter of finding a good way of growing. You need to gain experience, learn facts from other growers to make it work."

Natural, diverse pollination
For the pollination of plants, Erik opted for a combination of bumblebees and honeybees - a choice that is actually based on temperature. "Bees are more numerous, but they don’t perform well in cold weather. Bumblebees have some sort of fur that protects them from the cold. That's why we use bumblebees during the first months of pollinating, and change to bees when it gets warmer."

Source: Belorta

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